A Week of Birthdays
The first one is on the 6th. A 29th year on Earth, and almost a full year around the sun in mine and my kids.
It was at this same time last year that each of us were fairly newly single, each having ended a relationship that we each knew was destined to end. Each of us wondering could there ever be just one? He was heading towards the end of law school, I was in a year of figuring out my next career step- bumbling along the way as I decided 100% self employment was no longer for me.
The second one is on the 10th. Mine. The 35th year.
He doesn’t like it when I mention our age difference, and while I don’t like it so much (ugh- 35- where’s the fun in that?!), somehow he manages to ground me.
We surmised that we were likely “talking” at this point a year ago- thanks to an online dating app. Initially connecting over a love of local history- figuring out that our ancestors likely knew each other, because while he’s from Atlanta his mother was descended from the Napiers, one of the few to still hold that name in Atlanta, of Macon. My own family was here then as well. His a planting class. Mine a physician descended from a planter judge. Each guilty of what so many upper class white men were at that time, each of us feeling a shame in it.
We would meet after Thanksgiving, I had not heard from him much leading up to that day and had written him off- there were others interested, anyway. Little did I know that he was telling his family what little bit he knew about me, and he texted me from their dinner in Chicago. I received the message just after delivering my children to their father- facing the rest of a lonely holiday, not knowing I wouldn’t be so for long anymore.
Our date was set, and just a few hours before was the fateful meeting in which I decided to resign from my job. I didn’t much feel like a date, but didn’t want to cancel. Who knew what life might hold in store?
I had initially told him I would meet him there, and then asked if he could pick me up after all. I thought my meeting would run late, but it ended up being quick. I didn’t know he was relieved by the change in plans, a chance to get to know one another on the ride. I didn’t know that he had called the restaurant to request a specific table, telling them that this one was going to be special- somehow he knew it. I didn’t know I made him nervous when I didn’t take my coat off, he was afraid I might just up and leave- all I was was cold in the room. I didn’t know what to think when he insisted on bringing my mother flowers, since she was babysitting my children for my dinner date, and then they ended up being poinsettias from the nearby grocery store.
I also knew he was special.
Our first posted photo together was one on December 22nd, nearly a month after dating, and with the privacy settings quickly changed as we weren’t quite “public” just yet. A photo out at Cafe Intermezzo- and not one again until New Year’s Eve. A fitting beginning to a new life.
He is the guy who shortly thereafter also assisted me in paying for a birthday party when one funding source suddenly went away, insisted on it even when I tried to tell him “no”.
He is the guy who has taken on the responsibility of moving in with me and loving two little ones- not an easy task.
There have been many photos. Many events. Trips- even with first trip, in which I got food poisoning and he had to care for me. Business trips for me, selling candles with my mom and I on Valentine’s Day.
Our own first full year around the sun is soon approaching, and perhaps it’s only fitting it should be shortly after each of our birthdays.
Happy Birthday Nathan- you will always be special to me, and to my children.
Molly McWilliams Wilkins
Molly McWilliams Wilkins is a Southern culture commentator, web producer, and social media marketing maven. She is also a freelance writer who has worked with a variety of publications and online magazines including Bourbon & Boots, Paste Magazine, Macon Magazine, the 11th Hour, Macon Food & Culture Magazine, and as the Digital Content Editor for The Southern Weekend. Mommy first, fashionista, social media maven, writer, artist, dreamer and poet. Hangs on to her Oxford Commas by force. Addicted to shoes and purses- and lots of coffee. Coffee coffee coffee.